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Old 07-28-2013, 12:37 AM   #1
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Help me save some bettas

My friend recently got two bettas without being told. He's keeping them in a bowl. I told him he needs to get a new tank but he decided to keep the bettas in there for life. Please help me convince my friend that bettas do not belong in bowls.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
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Tell him that what would he rather do, spend 30 bucks on a good tank, and 5 dollars on a Betta that will last him for years, or to be buying betas every two months for the rest of his life
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:49 AM   #3
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Take your ammonia test kit over there and tell him that if he doesn't want a real tank he'll have to do a water change every time ammonia is over zero I'm sure he doesn't want to do WCs every other day
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:56 AM   #4
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He claims he'll do water changes every other day. He also claims that he has a betta in a bowl that is a year old.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:04 AM   #5
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There are some tanks that are specialized just for Bettas. They cost around $20. Maybe 2.5 gallons or so. Is he putting two Bettas in one bowl?!
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:15 AM   #6
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No he has two separate bowls. I'm telling him that bowls are terrible and he thinks I'm insulting him.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:26 AM   #7
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No he has two separate bowls. I'm telling him that bowls are terrible and he thinks I'm insulting him.
Bettas can be kept in bowls for short periods of time. Hate to say it, but when I was watching someone else's Betta I had to keep it in a bowl for about 3 weeks. I changed the water every couple days. But if he is looking to keep this Betta long term, he should invest in a tank. Nothing fancy... maybe a 2 gallon at the minimum. He could also get a 5 gallon tank with a divider.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:37 AM   #8
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And here is what I would tell him, "Hey [insert name here] a fish bowl has no filtration. Your Bettas really need a small tank with a filter so that the ammonia levels won't be off the charts. Anyway, fish bowls are ugly and there is no water flow. Your Betta will have a short life if he or she lives in a bowl."
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:49 AM   #9
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No he has two separate bowls. I'm telling him that bowls are terrible and he thinks I'm insulting him.
Sorry, but you are insulting him. Bettas have been kept in bowls for centuries. EVERY Betta splenden in the aquarium hobby today is a descendant of a Betta that was kept in a bowl ( and not just for a few days either). As long as the bowl has clean water, safe temp and the fish get fed properly, there is no reason they can't be kept in a bowl.

But we've had this discussion before on many other threads. My suggestion would be to better inform people the proper way of keeping them if they are in a bowl(without the afore mentioned requirements) instead of telling people they are wrong for doing so. Explain that it takes more work to keep them in a bowl than a filtered tank but then let them decide how THEY want to keep them. In truth, a bowl is just a tank with round sides. (What's the difference between a 2 gal tank and a 2 gal bowl? )I've seen crappy tank setups with Bettas in them as well as bad bowls. It's about the husbandry not the container. The container only changes they way they are properly kept.

Please stop trying to push your agenda with false statements. Help people keep their fish with the facts It can be and is being done all the time.
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Andy Sager View Post

Sorry, but you are insulting him. Bettas have been kept in bowls for centuries. EVERY Betta splenden in the aquarium hobby today is a descendant of a Betta that was kept in a bowl ( and not just for a few days either). As long as the bowl has clean water, safe temp and the fish get fed properly, there is no reason they can't be kept in a bowl.

But we've had this discussion before on many other threads. My suggestion would be to better inform people the proper way of keeping them if they are in a bowl(without the afore mentioned requirements) instead of telling people they are wrong for doing so. Explain that it takes more work to keep them in a bowl than a filtered tank but then let them decide how THEY want to keep them. In truth, a bowl is just a tank with round sides. (What's the difference between a 2 gal tank and a 2 gal bowl? )I've seen crappy tank setups with Bettas in them as well as bad bowls. It's about the husbandry not the container. The container only changes they way they are properly kept.

Please stop trying to push your agenda with false statements. Help people keep their fish with the facts It can be and is being done all the time.
I agree 100%. It comes down to the husbandry. I have bettas in containers ranging from a 56 gallon column tank (my sorority) down to 1.75 liter gin bottles with the necks cut off for my jarred bettas. My adult males are in a 10 gal, a divided 10 gal, and a 1.5 gal. All containers are at a nice warm temp (I do not have ac at the moment, but by winter I will have a nice floating contraption for holding separated fry in my new 40 gallon grow out) and the water is kept very clean. Of course the smaller tanks and "bowls" need way more maintenance, but the fish in smaller tanks do just fine. I just have to change their water out daily or every other day instead of weekly like I do on the bigger, filtered tanks. I also keep the smallest containers bare bottomed for easier maintenance.

For the long term I would say 1 gallon is the minimum water volume for a betta, but of course more work is needed the smaller the tank is.

There is a HUGE difference between a betta in a bowl and, say, a goldfish in a bowl. Bettas have a fairly low bioload and are able to breathe air from the surface, allowing them to live in unfiltered water (not dirty water, but water without the extra oxygen provided by the water movement of a filter). Also, bettas do not handle water movement very well - at least most of today's long finned varieties. So in some ways they do better without a filter, or at least without a strong filter. The key is proper care. With frequent water changes and not overfeeding, a betta can thrive in a bowl as long as the water is warm enough. And hey, they make heaters for bowls.

The only reason I do not keep any bettas in traditional bowls is this - distortion. I can't find any 1-2 gal bowls that are nice and clear. All the ones I see are not very smooth and have very poor clarity, and I want to be able to see my fish. That and I have enough work with the daily and every other day water changes for the fish I already have in smaller containers.
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